In real estate, some of the easiest business to win is generally from your own network: your family, your friends, and friends of theirs.
After that, you’re generally prospecting against other agents who have their own networks, so you’re essentially in the position of stealing business away from their networks.
So what happens when sites like Facebook help people keep in better touch with their networks? It certainly seems possible that real estate agents engaged in sites like Facebook will have an easier time closing business with a larger percentage of their network.
I searched for “real estate” within Facebook after logging into my account just now. After doing that, I clicked the “people” tab and found out that I’m currently friends with 20 real estate agents. Among those agents, I have between zero and 21 mutual friends. Some I know fairly well and some I went to high school or college with. To me, this is a reminder that real estate agents advertising to me have virtually no shot at winning my business away from one of the 20 agents I’m connected with on Facebook. And, of course, there are other agents I know well who aren’t on Facebook yet.
(This isn’t to say that all 20 of those agents have equal levels of experience, skills, or work the same geographies.)
My 21st friend in real estate. The one who knows what she’s doing but isn’t on Facebook yet, is missing out on a big opportunity. She’s no longer getting her name in front of me at the same degree 20 other friends are. And I’m just one of hundreds of people in her network that she’s not touching, virtually, on a regular basis, for free.
Going outside of my friend network doesn’t disappoint either. I can still find out way more about prospective agents when I research them within Facebook than I can on their own websites. Why? Because they share so much more about themselves, such as where they went to school, who their friends are, what other jobs they’ve had, where they like to travel, their tastes in movies and music, and dozens to thousands of photos of themselves and their friends. None of this can’t be done on their main business sites, but they don’t seem to realize that they should.
If you’re not engaging with your current network through online tools like Facebook, you’re opening up the door for all of the other real estate agents they know.
If you’re not sharing information about yourself online through Facebook and on your business site, you’re making things easy for your competitors who do.